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UNITED STATES BRINGS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST TWO ATTORNEYS FORMERLY WITH BOSTON LAW FIRM OF WARNER & STACKPOLE

 BOSTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Attorney A. John Pappalardo announced that today two attorneys formerly with the Boston law firm of Warner & Stackpole were charged criminally for defrauding The Dime Savings Bank of New York ("Dime"). The United States Attorney also announced that the United States commenced a civil penalty action against Warner & Stackpole for defrauding Dime and that the firm has agreed to pay $500,000.00 in settlement of that suit.
 The criminal informations were filed against former Warner & Stackpole partner Marguerite Nickerson, 50, of Plymouth, Mass. and former Warner & Stackpole associate Scott Jamieson, 31, of Natick, Mass.
 Nickerson is charged with fourteen counts of making false statements to Dime in connection with three different condominium projects for which Dime was providing loans to buyers. Jamieson is charged with five counts of making false statements to Dime in connection with two different condominium projects for which Dime was providing loans to buyers. If convicted, both defendants face a maximum penalty of up to two years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each of the counts against them.
 According to the informations, from before 1987 through 1989, defendants Nickerson and Jamieson were both attorneys with Warner & Stackpole, a law firm located first at 28 State Street and later 75 State Street in Boston. During that time period, Warner & Stackpole represented Dime at hundreds of real estate closings where Dime was providing the financing to purchasers of condominium units. At many of the closings identified in the informations, Warner & Stackpole also represented other parties to the transactions, such as the buyer or seller of the condominium.
 According to the informations, defendants Nickerson and Jamieson defrauded Dime by deceiving the bank into believing that buyers of units at various condominium projects in Massachusetts had made large down payments on the units, when in truth they had made no down payments. The informations also charge that the defendants concealed from Dime the fact that the buyers had received second mortgages and third mortgages in order to finance their purchases. By misrepresenting that the buyers had paid 20 percent or more of the purchase price of the units as cash down payments, the defendants induced Dime to make loans to unqualified borrowers. Dime, according to the informations, was thus put at greater risk that the borrowers would default on their loans. Most of the fraudulently obtained loans identified in the informations are in default and Dime has been forced to foreclose on the units.
 Among the fraudulently obtained loans with which both Nickerson and Jamieson are charged are loans for a condominium project know as Gaslight Village in Chelsea, Mass. Former Warner & Stackpole partner Robert Zimmerman was indicted in September 1992, together with developers Stephen Furber and Leo Hamel and Dime loan officer Clark Waterfall, for conspiracy, bank fraud and false statements in connection with loans obtained from Dime for the Gaslight Village project. Furber pleaded guilty in October 1992. Zimmerman, Hamel and Waterfall are awaiting trial.
 In the civil penalty action filed today against Warner & Stackpole, the United States similarly alleges that on 32 occasions from 1987 through 1989, Warner & Stackpole falsely and fraudulently represented to Dime that buyers/borrowers had made cash payments of 20% or more towards the purchase price of condominium units, when, in fact, they had made only small down payments or no down payments at all. Warner & Stackpole further failed to disclose that, in violation of the bank's underwriting standards, the buyers/borrowers had in most instances obtained secondary financing as a means of purchasing the condominiums. As a result of such fraud and false statements, Dime was fraudulently induced to issue numerous mortgage loans to buyers who did not meet its underwriting standards. Many of these loans ultimately defaulted.
 The civil Complaint further alleges that Warner & Stackpole fully knew of the falsity of its representations. For example, although Warner & Stackpole was representing to Dime that secondary financing did not exist, in many instances it was Warner & Stackpole itself which drafted, notarized and/or recorded the second and third mortgages in question. Also, with respect to many transactions, Warner & Stackpole represented both the lender, i.e. Dime, and either the purchaser obtaining the loan from Dime or the seller or other party providing the secondary financing.
 The Complaint alleges that Warner & Stackpole's fraudulent statements to Dime were made to facilitate the closings on the numerous transactions, to satisfy the law firm's condominium developer clients who were selling the properties in question and to generate fees for Warner & Stackpole.
 As a result of such conduct, the Complaint seeks civil penalties under Section 951 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 ("FIRREA"), 12 U.S.C. 1833a. Immediately upon the filing of the Complaint Warner & Stackpole and the United States reached a settlement of the action, whereby Warner & Stackpole will pay a $500,000 civil penalty to the United States. In agreeing to make this payment, Warner & Stackpole does not admit to any wrongdoing.
 The cases were investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and are being handled by Assistant United States Attorney David Abelman of Pappalardo's Civil Division and Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Stafford Stein of Pappalardo's Economic Crimes Unit of his Criminal Division.
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: Press Officer of the U.S. Attorney's Office, 617-223-9445/


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